'Maddy home for Xmas' 'tec takes on NEW case

'Maddy home for Xmas' 'tec takes on NEW case
Exclusive £50K a month.. & he jets off on 'other business'
The Sunday Mirror
23 December 2007
Lori Campbell and Tom Worden

The private detective who vowed to bring Madeleine McCann home by Christmas has been working on a different case.

Francisco Marco, head of Spanish agency Metodo 3, told earlier this month how he was sure the four-year-old was alive - and said he was close to returning her to distraught parents Kate and Gerry.

But the Sunday Mirror can reveal he took himself off the investigation last week and travelled abroad on a separate case. A source at his Barcelona HQ said: "He has been out of the country on business not to do with Madeleine, on another case altogether."

And despite his recent claims of being "very close" to rescuing Madeleine from her kidnappers, Marco was yesterday at home.

He said: "I am not going to discuss with you where I have been or what cases I have been working on this week. If my office said I was out of the country, it means I was out of the country."

Marco had previously told how he was working flat out on the hunt for Madeleine, but yesterday he said: "I'm not working today-it's Saturday."

Metodo 3 were hired by the McCanns in September on a £50,000-a-month contract - paid for by the Find Madeleine Fund.

Kate and Gerry have tried to maintain their faith in Metodo 3's ability to find their daughter. But they are now losing patience with the firm. A close friend said: "Relations with Metodo 3 were already strained after Marco made the incredible claim he knew who took Madeleine and hoped to get her home by Christmas.

"The McCanns' aides had a huge showdown with him, saying he risked Madeleine's chances of being found alive.

"Kate and Gerry have always said they believe in Metodo 3's ability to do the job.

"But it is infuriating to discover that the head of the agency has not been working on the case."

The McCanns' official spokesman Clarence Mitchell said yesterday: "Francisco Marco's movements are based on Metodo 3's professional activities.

"We are content with their operational work, just as long as they are fully staffing the search for Madeleine."


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